By Paul Messersmith-Glavin (May 12, 2017)
This is in response to the “City Must be Done with Punk Fascists” Oregonian editorial of Friday, May 5th, and their call for responses to the police action at Portland’s May Day parade.
The Oregonian asks: what do anarchists want? From my own perspective, anarchists want a society free of racism, class exploitation, misogyny, and ecological ruin. Anarchists want everyone to have access to free health care. Anarchists want to live in a way that doesn’t necessitate imperialist wars. Anarchists want a society that doesn’t change the climate. Clearly, this society does none of those things, and therefore, anarchists want fundamental social change. We can debate about tactics and strategy, but we need to be consistent in our uses of terms. Fascists believe in white supremacy, genocide, and an authoritarian state. Anarchists are, in fact, the opposite of fascists. All those anarchists who died fighting fascists–in Spain in the 1930s and elsewhere–could attest to this. They gave their lives for their ideals.
The black bloc anarchists on May Day confronted a violent police attack on working families when the police cancelled the parade permit and attacked innocent people using tear gas, concussion grenades, and baton charges. It is fortunate that a section of the march, those in the black bloc, was prepared for this heavy-handed over-reaction to some thrown Pepsi cans. Our focus should be on the police’s violence. The Oregonian’s attempt to deflect attention from the true brutality exhibited on May Day – that of the police – is apparent.